Edwards, Ward 1927-2005

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Edwards, Ward 1927-2005

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born April 5, 1927, in Morristown, NJ; died February 1, 2005, in Glendale, CA. Psychologist, educator, and author. Edwards was a former University of Southern California professor and pioneer of statistical decision analysis and behavioral decision research. He did his undergraduate work at Swarthmore College, completing a B.A. in 1947; he then attended Harvard University, receiving his M.A. in 1950 and Ph.D. in 1952. After teaching at Johns Hopkins University during the early 1950s, he was a research psychologist for the U.S. Air Force in San Antonio for two years, followed by two years at the Operator Laboratory at Lowry Air Force Base in Denver. In 1958, he joined the University of Michigan faculty and was also a research psychologist at the school's Institute of Science and Technology. He headed the psychology laboratory there from 1963 until 1973, when he moved to Los Angeles to become professor of psychology and industrial and systems engineering for the University of Southern California (USC). Edwards remained at USC until his 1995 retirement. As a researcher, writer, and head of the university's Social Science Research Institute, Edwards was interested in the process of how people make decisions. His work was aimed at helping decision-makers make better judgments. He was also the founder, in 1962, of the Bayesian Research Conference, and his ideas on intelligence led him to develop the HAILFINDER, a computer system used for predicting severe weather. Edwards coauthored two books: Multiattribute Evaluation (1982) and Decision Analysis and Behavioral Research (1986). He also coedited Decision Making: Selected Readings (1967) and was editor of Utility Theories: Measurements and Applications (1992).



University of Southern California College of Letters, Arts & Sciences Web site, http://www.usc.edu/schools/college/ (February, 2005).